MY World reaches 5 MILLION votes – The Celebration!

The evening of 25th of September during the UN General Assembly week brought together MY World friends from far and near, in person and via liveweb-stream – and these MY World friends had 5 million reasons to celebrate!

The hard work of dedicated MY World partners brought the voices of 5 MILLION PEOPLE from 194 countries into the United Nations.  MY World has had very extensive support from a range of partners, over 700 organizations, including NGOs, heads of state, faith groups and youth movements who are still currently participating in its roll out and this collective achievement provides the perfect backdrop for a MY World Partner Recognition Event and MY World Award Ceremony which took place in New York during the UN General Assembly week.

This global survey, thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of all is now the largest survey of its kind ever undertaken.

Master of Ceremonies Femi Oke brightened the evening by bringing out the best stories and insights from all the guests and award winners about MY World’s global journey.

_MG_7279_MG_7169Among the many stories of the evening, Zoleka Mandela shared how she contemplated trading innocent kisses for MY World votes in a primary school in South Africa, Aakash Shah revealed how he convinced a textbook manufacturer to include the survey in the back of textbooks in India, film director Richard Curtis discussed his role in spreading word about the MY World survey, and Amina J. Mohammad,  the Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning, shared how all these voices from around the world are influencing the post-2015 agenda creation in New York.  And with new commitments from Nigeria and Morocco to collect over a million votes, the evening revealed that the MY World journey is far from over.

As Richard Curtis stated in his chat with Corinne about the future of MY World,

“This is just the beginning of a very long journey, and it is journey which is going to depend not upon the politicians, but upon millions of people fighting for their rights.”


Most importantly, the event was an opportunity to thank all MY World partners. From the amazing innovation shown by Action for Pune Development in India, to the dedicated volunteerism of the Millennial’s Movement in Peru, all the way to the Youth Institute of Mexico City’s outstanding achievement of collecting over a million votes, the evening provided a way to award the incredible work of MY World partners around the world.

_MG_7370Not only did the 5 million MY World voices reverberate around the UN during General Assembly week and impact the UN development agenda,  the survey results are also an emerging powerful advocacy tool – Mexico City, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and Thailand are already incorporating voices of their citizen collected through MY World into local policies and partners such as Youth Revolution Clan of Pakistan are preparing to use the survey to advocate locally.

MY World continues and the UN Secretary General, addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations the day before, said “More than five million people have now voted in the My World survey. I encourage millions more to log on and chime in.”

Our work continues.

Congratulations and a special thank you to the following partners who received awards for their outstanding work with MY World:

Outreach Award

YOUTH REVOLUTION CLAN which reached out to over 600,000 people in Pakistan.  Watcha video about their incredible work, and read about their outreach work.

Communications Award

TELEFÓNICA, Spain for featuring the MY World survey in over 400 stores in Spain, as well as its headquarters, encouraging their customers and employees to share their voices with the UN. Read more about Telefonica’s role in MY World.

Volunteerism Award

THE MILLENNIALS MOVEMENT of Peru, for the dedication of community volunteers in empowering the voices of over 10,000 people. Watch a video about their volunteerism, and read about the organization’s work on post-2015.

VIO NETWORK OF KENYA for motivating young volunteers to get the word out about the MY World Survey during the International Youth Day Celebration in Kenyatta.

Innovation Award

ACTION FOR PUNE DEVELOPMENT, a Pune, India youth organization who engaged young people in bringing the voices of over 600,000 people to the UN.   Read more about their work.

Outstanding Achievement Award

YOUTH INSTITUTE OF MEXICO CITY (INJUVE) for their incredible work mobilizing youth to collect the voices of over a 1.6 MILLION people.  Learn more about the work of INJUVE related to MY World.

Evidence Based Advocacy

DPU INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE AND THE UN COUNTRY TEAM OF THAILAND, theNATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE COUNCIL OF SRI LANKA, and the GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIAfor their amazing work utilizing MY World survey results for policy advocacy at the local and national level.

Special Recognition

DPI CHINESE LANGUAGE UNIT and UNDP COLOMBIA for their outstanding work to promote and support the MY World Survey.


5 million voices

Joint Message by UNESCO, ILO, UNICEF, UNDP and Education International on 5-10-14: World Teachers’ Day

5 October 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of World Teachers’ Day.

An education system is only as good as its teachers. Teachers are essential to universal and quality education for all: they are central to shaping the minds and attitudes of the coming generations to deal with new global challenges and opportunities. Innovative, inclusive and results-focused teaching is crucial for 2015 and beyond if we are to provide the best possible opportunities for millions of children, youth and adults worldwide.

In many countries, the quality of education is undermined by a deficit of teachers. An extra 1.4 million teachers are needed in classrooms across the world to achieve universal primary education by 2015, and 3.4 million additional teachers will be needed by 2030, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

Added to the challenge of numbers is the issue of quality. All too often, teachers work without resources or proper training. The stakes are high: we face today a global learning crisis, with 250 million children not learning the basics, over half of whom have spent four years in school.

Equipping teachers to succeed is therefore a priority. This means rigorous training, better conditions for employment, quality-based teacher recruitment, thoughtful deployment and attracting new teachers and talents, especially young people and women from under-represented communities. Reflecting on the lead-up to, and looking beyond, 2015, the Global Thematic Consultation on Education in the Post-2015 Development Agenda aptly sums up the essentials for supporting teachers’ effectiveness as follows: (1) decent conditions of employment, including appropriate contracts and salaries, and prospects for career progression and promotion; (2) good conditions in the work environment, based on creating school contexts that are conducive to teaching; (3) high-quality pre-and in-service training for teachers, based on respect for human rights and the principles of inclusive education; and (4) effective management, including teacher recruitment and deployment.

Moreover, quality teaching depends on teachers enjoying basic rights, such as protection from violence, academic freedom and the freedom to join independent unions. Protecting teachers’ rights also helps them to promote the safety and security of the girls and boys in their charge; we must insist that schools remain a protective space for children and teachers.

Children and young people are at the heart of society.  A good education enables them, as global citizens, to respond to the challenges of a complex world, and contribute to building peaceful and sustainable communities. The teachers of today and tomorrow need the skills, knowledge and support that will enable them to meet the diverse learning needs of every girl and boy. We must remember that teachers are an investment for the future.

The international community and governments must stand united to support teachers and quality education worldwide, and especially in those countries where the highest number of out-of-school children exists. We invite you to join us in spreading the message that 5 October is World Teachers’ Day and that investing in teachers means investing in the future.


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Message des Dirigeants de l’UNESCO, de l’OIT, de l’UNICEF, du PNUD, et de l’Internationale de l’éducation à l’occasion de la Journée mondiale des enseignants, le 5 octobre 2014


Le 5 octobre 2014 marque le 20e anniversaire de la Journée mondiale des enseignants.

Les enseignants font la qualité d’un système éducatif. Les enseignants sont la cheville ouvrière d’une éducation universelle de qualité pour tous. Ils jouent un rôle central dans la formation des esprits et des comportements des générations futures pour faire face aux nouveaux défis et opportunités planétaires. Il faut impérativement un enseignement novateur, inclusif et axé sur les résultats pour 2015 et au-delà si nous voulons offrir les meilleures chances possibles à des millions d’enfants, de jeunes et d’adultes par le monde.

Dans beaucoup de pays, la qualité de l’éducation est mise à mal par une pénurie d’enseignants. À l’échelle de la planète, 1,4 million d’enseignants manquent pour atteindre l’objectif de l’éducation primaire universelle d’ici à 2015 et 3,4 millions d’enseignants supplémentaires vont manquer d’ici à 2030, selon l’Institut de statistique de l’UNESCO.

Outre la question des chiffres se pose le problème de la qualité. Les enseignants sont trop nombreux à travailler sans ressources ou sans formation adaptée. Les enjeux sont considérables : nous sommes aujourd’hui confrontés à une crise mondiale de l’apprentissage, puisque 250 millions d’enfants, dont plus de la moitié ont passé quatre ans sur les bancs de l’école, ne possèdent pas les compétences fondamentales.

Équiper les enseignants pour la réussite est donc une priorité. Il faut pour cela une formation rigoureuse, de meilleures conditions d’emploi, un recrutement fondé sur la qualité et un déploiement judicieux, mais aussi attirer dans la profession de nouveaux talents, en particulier des jeunes hommes et femmes issus de communautés sous-représentées. Dans sa réflexion sur les objectifs pour 2015 et au-delà, la Réunion mondiale de la consultation thématique sur l’éducation dans le cadre de l’agenda pour le développement post-2015 résume parfaitement les éléments indispensables à une amélioration de l’efficacité des enseignants : (1) des conditions d’emploi décentes, notamment des contrats et des salaires appropriés ainsi que des perspectives d’évolution de carrière et de promotion ; (2) de bonnes conditions de travail, favorisées par la création d’environnements scolaires propices à l’enseignement ; (3) une formation préalable et en cours de service des enseignants de qualité, fondée sur le respect des droits de l’homme et sur les principes de l’éducation inclusive ; et (4) une gestion efficace, notamment en ce qui concerne le recrutement et le déploiement des enseignants.

En outre, pour un enseignement de qualité il faut que les enseignants jouissent de droits fondamentaux, notamment le droit d’être protégé de la violence, la liberté universitaire et le droit d’appartenir à un syndicat indépendant. Protéger leurs droits aide également les enseignants à promouvoir la sécurité des filles et des garçons dont ils ont la charge. Nous devons insister pour que les écoles restent un lieu protecteur pour les enfants et les enseignants.

Les enfants et les jeunes sont l’âme de la société. Une solide éducation leur permet, en tant que citoyens du monde, de relever les défis d’un environnement complexe et de contribuer à l’édification de communautés pacifiques et durables.

Les enseignants d’aujourd’hui et de demain ont besoin de compétences, de connaissances et d’un appui pour répondre aux besoins d’apprentissage propres à chaque fille et garçon. N’oublions pas que les enseignants sont un investissement pour l’avenir.

La communauté internationale et les gouvernements doivent s’unir pour soutenir les enseignants et encourager un enseignement de qualité partout dans le monde, en particulier dans les pays qui comptent le plus grand nombre d’enfants non scolarisés. Nous vous invitons à vous joindre à nous pour répandre ce message : le 5 octobre est la Journée mondiale des enseignants et investir dans les enseignants, c’est investir pour l’avenir.


Read the message in / Lire le message en :

English / Français / Español / Русский / العربية / 中文

Providing key information for MDG momentum

In the last week of September, high-level government representatives descended on New York to attend the UN General Assembly to address a number of issues vital for the well-being of our planet. Putting people at the centre of development, meeting new population challenges and ensuring the rights of the world’s indigenous peoples – these were some of the topics on a busy agenda, where UN DESA played a crucial role providing support.

Behind the scenes at the UN General Assembly

“This is a historic occasion – the UN’s first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples,” said UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo as the department was gearing up for back-to-back high-level events at UN Headquarters in New York. ”The adoption by the General Assembly of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007 was a milestone. Now is the time for concrete actions to translate the principles and objectives of the UN Declaration into reality. The UN will make every effort to ensure the survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples of the world,” Mr. Wu added.

Prior to the kick-off of a busy UN week, Mr. Wu launched the MDG Gap Task Force Report 2014 “The State of the Global Partnership for Development” at a press briefing together with Thomas Gass, UN DESA’s Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, Pingfan Hong, the Director of UN DESA’s Division for Development Policy and Analysis and Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UNDP’s Deputy Assistant Administrator. “With only one year ahead, we definitely need a strong sense of urgency and action,” Mr. Wu said, as targets for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to the global partnership to improve people’s lives and end poverty, showed mixed results on providing the poorest developing countries with greater access to aid, trade, debt relief, essential medicines and technologies.

Ensuring the rights of indigenous peoples now and beyond 2015

“I am pleased that in the World Conference outcome document Member States commit to give due consideration to all the rights of indigenous peoples in the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda”

Wu Hongbo
UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General

As UN General Assembly events got underway, UN DESA provided support to two high-level events taking place back-to-back, and in parallel on 22 September. First off was the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (WCIP), convened as the first high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly’s 69h session, bringing together over a thousand indigenous and non-indigenous delegates to discuss the realization of their rights and the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Indigenous peoples represent remarkable diversity – more than 5,000 distinct groups in some 90 countries, making up more than 5 per cent of the world’s population, some 370 million people. These peoples continue to self-identify as distinct peoples with strong links to traditional territories with their own social, economic and political systems as well as unique languages, cultures and beliefs.

“I am pleased that in the World Conference outcome document Member States commit to give due consideration to all the rights of indigenous peoples in the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda,” Mr. Wu said as he addressed a panel event focusing on indigenous peoples’ priorities for the post-2015 development agenda and as he commented on the approval of the Conference Outcome Document on 22 September.

“We must intensify our work to ensure that policy commitments translate into programs and projects that directly benefit indigenous peoples, with their direct participation,” Mr. Wu added. “With just one year remaining to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, in many ways, we have been unable to address the development gaps indigenous peoples face. Nearly all available data shows that indigenous peoples fare worse in socio-economic terms than non-indigenous peoples. We must draw upon the lessons learned from the MDGs and we must do better this time around,” Mr. Wu said.

Putting people at the centre of development

Taking place on the same day as the WCIP on 22 September, the General Assembly held its special session on the follow-up to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development beyond 2014, marking 20 years since the landmark conference in Cairo that reinforced the principle that development should centre on people.

“This is an important opportunity for the international community to focus on the unfinished agenda of the ICPD Programme of Action and to reaffirm their commitment to placing people at the centre of development,” Mr. Gass said, as he briefed journalists ahead of this major event. “Let us recall that in 1994, Cairo achieved a remarkable consensus that the rights and well-being of individuals should be the central focus of efforts to promote social and economic development,” he added.

“Let us recall that in 1994, Cairo achieved a remarkable consensus that the rights and well-being of individuals should be the central focus of efforts to promote social and economic development”

Thomas Gass
UN DESA’s Assistant Secretary-General

Mr. Gass highlighted that progress since 1994 has been remarkable in many areas including gains in gender equality, advances in educational attainment, health, survival, human rights protection, poverty reduction and access to sexual and reproductive health services. “But many of the promises of the ICPD remains unfulfilled,” Mr. Gass explained. “Progress has been unequal and is often hampered by persistent discrimination and inequality,” he added. “New challenges have emerged including those linked to rapid urbanization, environmental change, economic transformation and increasingly complex migration trends”.

Moving the world forward into the future we want

The special General Assembly session brought together 73 representatives of Member States, including 18 Heads of State, who took the floor to reaffirm their commitments to the ICPD agenda. It also marked the beginning of the final year of negotiations on a new long-term post-2015 development agenda. “We must renew our pledge to protect people – especially women and girls – as we strive to eradicate extreme poverty, protect the rights and dignity of all people and secure the future of our planet for generations to come,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

In addition to high-level events during UN week, there are many major conferences, commissions, expert groups and other forums that meet throughout the year to address issues related to social, economic and sustainable development. UN DESA is there to assist, providing expertise and experience and thereby enabling nations across the globe to make decisions that will move the world forward into the future we want.

As the first week of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly is about to conclude, Mr. Wu reflects on the major events that have just taken place. “I am impressed by the big turnout at these events. It is a privilege and a great responsibility to be a part of this international process. I am also very proud of the hard work of my DESA staff. They are one of the most critical components in the global effort to eradicate poverty and create a better future for everyone,” Mr. Wu said.

For more information:

MDG Gap Task Force Report 2014

World Conference on Indigenous Peoples

Special Session of the General Assembly on the follow-up to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development beyond 2014

Providing key information for MDG momentum

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an end to the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals while speaking at a high-level event convened by the MDG Advocacy Group on 25 September. Organized by UN DESA in collaboration with a number of partners, the event featured the launch of a new publication as well as a data tool visualizing 14 years’ worth of MDG data from UN DESA’s Statistics Division.

Gathering 300 global leaders, the MDG Advocates’ event co-hosted by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, showcased the successes of the eight MDGs to deliver a healthier, equitable and more sustainable future and it also launched the MDG Advocates’ Leaders Report, “Accelerating Action: Global Leaders on Challenges and Opportunities for MDG Achievement”, which was presented by MDG Advocate Graça Machel.

“The MDG Advocates play a crucial role in helping to keep the flame burning and continuously refocus international attention on this important agenda amidst numerous crises and other issues competing for public concern”

Thomas Gass
UN DESA’s Assistant Secretary-General

Authored by 37 world leaders, this unique publication looks at successful policies and interventions championed by governments and partners to drive progress on the MDGs, as well as obstacles faced and actions taken to overcome them. It was published with the support of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, UN DESA, the UN Millennium Campaign, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and the UN Foundation.

“While the achievement of the MDGs depends on the action and commitment of governments as well as numerous organizations and of course individuals,” said Thomas Gass, UN DESA’s Assistant Secretary-General, “the MDG Advocates play a crucial role in helping to keep the flame burning and continuously refocus international attention on this important agenda amidst numerous crises and other issues competing for public concern.”

Challenges and opportunities for achieving MDGs by end of 2015

Led by the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg and President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame, the MDG Leaders praise successes of improving people’s lives. But they also demand more action. The lives of millions of people worldwide have improved due to concerted efforts. During the past two decades, the likelihood of a child dying before the age of five has been nearly cut in half, which means about 17,000 children have been saved every day. The maternal mortality ratio dropped by 45 per cent. Antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected people has saved 6.6 million lives. An estimated 3.3 million deaths from malaria were averted due to a major expansion of simple preventions, such as bed nets, and treatments. Efforts to fight tuberculosis have saved an estimated 22 million lives.

“The Millennium Development Goals have been the greatest anti-poverty push in history,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “New partnerships have been established. New actors have been engaged. Now we must finish the job,” he urged. With many MDG targets already met – including reducing poverty, increasing access to clean drinking water, improving the lives of slum dwellers, and achieving gender parity in primary school – many more targets are also within reach by the end of 2015.

“All of us, whether in government, business, or civil society, have to keep pushing, not just to December 2015, but beyond,“ wrote the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg. ”The MDG deadline, after all, is not the finish line of the race, and there will be neither medals nor rest.”

The unfinished business of the MDGs remains the focus of the MDG leaders who underlined the need to invest in education, adolescent girls and women’s empowerment, scaling up efforts to fight child and maternal mortality and investing agriculture as well as water and in sanitation to end open defecation.

“One way to accelerate progress is to share innovations by learning from the experiences of others,” Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, said. “We have to cultivate cross-sectorial efforts and broad partnerships in the year ahead so that we can accelerate synergies, including between education and health as well as gender equality. Our experience as leaders is that it is a common sense that often requires the most sustained advocacy.”

Visualizing 14 years’ worth of MDG data

“Reliable and robust data are critical for devising appropriate policies and interventions for achieving the MDGs and creating a better world for all”

Stefan Schweinfest
Director of UN DESA’s Statistics Division

As part of the United Nations ongoing efforts to highlight the progress made on the MDGs, an initiative to map official data from UN DESA’s Statistics Division, in partnership with Microsoft was initiated by the UN Millennium Campaign. This new visualization represents an innovative approach to communicating progress made toward poverty eradication and galvanizes momentum for the final days for MDG realization. By using Microsoft’s Power View to demonstrate data in an accessible and digestible format, the aim is to tell the story of the progress made toward eradicating global poverty, and inspire continued global efforts.

“Reliable and robust data are critical for devising appropriate policies and interventions for achieving the MDGs and creating a better world for all,” explained Stefan Schweinfest, Director of UN DESA’s Statistics Division. “We have worked on monitoring the progress towards the MDGS since its start. Every month, millions of people download the global MDG report and the MDG data from our website. I am happy to collaborate with the UN Millennium Campaign to use MDG data visualization to communicate with policy makers and the public to promote development,” Mr. Schweinfest added.

Addressing the high-level event, the Secretary-General urged delegates to help focus on what he described as “two critical fronts” in the battle towards realizing the MDGs: accelerating progress towards meeting the MDGs and preparing for a post-2015 world. “We need a strong successor framework in place,” affirmed Ban Ki-moon. “Building mechanisms for effective partnerships and multi-stakeholder accountability will be critical to the success of the post-2015 development agenda.”

For more information:

MDG Leaders Report

MDG Data Visualization

Millennium Development Goals Snapshot 2014

Renewing commitments to end poverty

Feature3_webThe global community is making important strides to reduce extreme poverty. However, despite substantial progress, about one in five people worldwide still lives on less than $1.25 a day. To renew commitments, show solidarity and make sure no one is left behind, the United Nations will commemorate the 2014 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty at UN Headquarters in New York on 17 October.“While poverty levels have declined significantly, progress has been uneven. Our impressive achievement in cutting poverty by half should not blind us to the fact that more than 1.2 billion people still live in extreme poverty worldwide,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message as the day was commemorated last year.

“Too many, especially women and girls, continue to be denied access to adequate health care and sanitation, quality education and decent housing. Too many young people lack jobs and the skills that respond to market demands. Rising inequality in many countries — both rich and poor — is fuelling exclusion from economic, social and political spheres, and we know that the impacts of climate change and loss of biodiversity hit the poorest the hardest. All of this underpins the need for strong and responsive institutions,” the Secretary-General said.

“While poverty levels have declined significantly, progress has been uneven. Our impressive achievement in cutting poverty by half should not blind us to the fact that more than 1.2 billion people still live in extreme poverty worldwide”

Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General

The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October 1987. On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris, where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected. In 1992, the General Assembly declared 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and invited all States to devote the Day to presenting and promoting concrete activities with regard to the eradication of poverty and destitution.

This year’s commemoration will be organized in partnership with the International Movement ATD Fourth World, the NGO Sub-committee for the Eradication of Poverty and UN DESA, supported by the Missions of France and Burkina Faso to the United Nations. A commemorative event will be held on Friday, 17 October in Conference Room 2 of the Conference Building from 1:15 pm to 2:30 pm. Additionally, a ten-part exhibition of collective artwork by people living in poverty will be featured in the 1B Corridor to the Vienna Cafe from 13 to 17 October. Each collection shows how the human act of creation—whether by rousing strength and hope, or bestowing a peaceful calm–helps people to hold their heads high, to come together in dignity, and to leave no one behind.

Leaving no one behind                                    

The 2014 theme, “Leave no one behind: think, decide and act together against extreme poverty,” recognizes and underscores the demanding challenge of identifying and securing the participation of those experiencing extreme poverty and social exclusion in the post-2015 development agenda.

“The United Nations and the World Bank and all of us can end extreme poverty from this earth, to save everybody and to leave nobody behind. That is our priority and vision,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated earlier this year as he addressed an End Poverty Call to Action Event in Washington, D.C. taking place alongside the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The call to “Leave no one behind” points to the urgent need to eliminate discrimination, marginalization and exclusion based on poverty, ethnic origin, gender, age, disability or economic and social status. It will require concerted action to actively reach out to the most impoverished and excluded groups in our societies. At the core of such action must be the alignment of development policies and targets, and their implementation, with human rights norms and standards, in keeping with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. As the Secretary-General has also said, “we must not fail the billions who look to the international community to fulfil the promise of the Millennium Declaration for a better world”.

Think, decide and act together against extreme poverty

The call “to think, decide and act together against extreme poverty” highlights the need to include people living in poverty as partners in building our understanding and knowledge of more sustainable forms of development. Local, national and international institutions must create genuine participatory mechanisms, with accountability and grievance mechanisms at all levels, while working as partners with communities to strengthen their own support organisations.

“The post-2015 development agenda calls for a single development framework with poverty reduction and sustainable development at its core”

Wu Hongbo
UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General

In particular, we must promote and support an inclusive, equitable and sustainable economy. That is, an economy that protects the environment, fosters the creation of full employment and decent work opportunities for all, and ensures high quality education and healthcare with improved results for all, including people living in extreme poverty.

“The post-2015 development agenda calls for a single development framework with poverty reduction and sustainable development at its core. Development, however, will only be fully sustainable when its economic, environmental and social dimensions are integrated in a balanced way,” stressed UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo as he addressed the Commission for Social Development earlier this year.

Ultimately, the success of the post-2015 development agenda will depend on the full and meaningful participation of all people, actively supported by increased commitments at the political, economic, social and cultural levels in all countries.

In addition to the commemorative events to be held in New York on 17 October, celebrations of this international day are being organized worldwide. People from all corners of the world are also encouraged to help the United Nations to raise awareness about progress made and the challenges that remain in the fight against poverty. The online community is asked to use #EndPoverty to share messages about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the post-2015 development agenda and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty via social media.

For more information:

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2014

International Movement ATD Fourth World

International Committee for October 17

The UN Millennium Campaign

Civil society messages at UN Climate Summit reverberate around the world

The 23 September UN Climate Summit was a multi-dimensional event which brought together more than 120 Heads of State and Government, along with leaders from civil society and business, to catalyze ambitious action to address climate change. During July and August, UN-NGLS led an open, transparent nomination process to identify civil society speakers and attendees for the Summit. Ultimately 50 candidates were invited to attend, 18 of whom were provided with travel funding.

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a 26-year old poet from the Marshall Islands – who is also a teacher, a journalist, a founder of an environmental NGO and a mother – was selected to speak during the opening ceremony of the Summit. She has since been widely commended for delivering the most memorable presentation of the day: a short statement followed by a stirring poem addressed to her daughter, titled “Dear Matafele Peinam.” She brought many to tears and received a long standing ovation in the General Assembly Hall. A video that accompanied her performance, and the full text of the poem, can be found on her blog:

Videos of her statement and poem are circling the globe, with more than 350,000 views combined in the last week. Watch her full presentation here:

More than 120 articles have been written worldwide already about the messages she brought to the Summit, including by several major international media outlets. A tracking document can be viewed here:

Currently, more than 60 articles convey perspectives and recommendations from many of the 49 additional civil society participants selected through the UN-NGLS process. The tracking document for these articles is available here:

The global resonance of the messages brought to the Summit by this diverse array of civil society representatives illustrates the importance and value of civil society participation in UN processes. UN-NGLS expresses its highest respect and appreciation to all of the civil society representatives who brought their hopes and expertise to UN Headquarters for the Summit – several of whom had never left their countries before. UN-NGLS thanks the Climate Change Support Team in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General for supporting this civil society engagement.

For more information about outcomes of the UN Climate Summit, please visit:

Best regards,

As development goals near deadline, Ban urges global leaders to ‘finish the job’

Great gains have been made in the global effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, known worldwide as the “MDGs,” but with the deadline fast approaching more must be done to fully meet the targets set for 2015 and beyond,Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

In his remarks to a gathering of 300 global leaders convened by the MDG Advocacy Group, Mr. Ban applauded the successes made so far in pushing forward with the Goals and in having “raised awareness, mobilized resources, and helped shape policy.”

“The MDGs have transformed the lives of millions of people,” he told delegates at the gathering, which was held on the margins of the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate.

The meeting, organized by the MDG Advocacy Group, a body of global leaders and eminent personalities assembled by the Secretary-General to promote the implementation of the Goals, also marked the release of the Group’s latest report – Accelerating Action: Global Leaders on Challenges and Opportunities for MDG Achievement – which confirms the strides made so far.

The eight MDGs, agreed by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, are described as a 15-year roadmap to fight poverty, hunger and disease, protect the environment and expand education, basic health and women’s empowerment.

According to the new report, in fact, the past two decades has seen the likelihood of a child dying before the age of five nearly reduced by half while the maternal mortality ratio has dropped by 45 per cent. At the same time, antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected people has saved an estimated 6.6 million lives and another estimated 3.3 million people were saved from malaria due to the diffusion of major preventions such as bed nets and treatments. Efforts to fight tuberculosis, meanwhile, have saved an estimated 22 million lives.

“Fewer people are in poverty. More children are in school. We are making inroads in the fight against malaria and tuberculosis. Families and communities have greater access to an improved drinking water source,” the Secretary-General noted.

With 462 days remaining until the MDG deadline, the report strikes an optimistic note, adding that with many of the Goals already met – including the reduction of poverty, increasing access to clean drinking water, improving the lives of slum dwellers, and achieving gender parity in schools – many more targets are also within reach by the end of 2015.

But, Mr. Ban warned, much more remained to be done in order to “finish the job.”

“We must do more to finish our targets on hunger and chronic child malnutrition. Faster progress is needed to meet the goals of reducing child and maternal mortality and to improve access to sanitation,” he continued.

The Secretary-General urged delegates to help focus on what he described as “two critical fronts” in the battle towards realizing the Goals: accelerating progress towards meeting the MDGs and preparing for a post-2015 world.

“We need a strong successor framework in place,” affirmed Mr. Ban. “Building mechanisms for effective partnerships and multi-stakeholder accountability will be critical to the success of the post-2015 development agenda.”

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

MDG Momentum: UN launches 500 days of action to build a better world

United Nations the Alliance of Civilizations

This event is planned under the theme ‘New and Emerging Ideological Threats to Global Peace & Co-Existence’ and takes place on 26 September 2014 (08:30AM-01:00PM, Conference Room 3, CB, UNHQs, New York).

Open Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Alliance of Civilizations (at the ministerial level), organized by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).


This timely meeting of the UNAOC is needed to advance the discussion of the role of the Alliance in combating violent extremism, the role of states in this endeavor, and institutional responsibilities at national, regional and international levels. The International Community can benefit from the lessons learned in efforts to educate youth on the need to build a culture of peace. In this regard, the meeting will also explore the role of the media, the impact of migration and other human expressions that affect global efforts of combating intolerance and incitement to hatred based on faith or background. Recent events in the MENA region, Asia, Africa and elsewhere present clear examples of the challenges facing our global peace and co-existence.


Programme is enclosed for your information.  Contact person: Hanifa Mezoui As time permits, questions will be selected to be addressed to the Chair during the event.


UNAOC is looking forward to the active participation of NGOs to promote partnership initiatives to address issues pertaining to the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

140915_UNAOC GOF Ministerial Meeting Sep 26 Programme-2

How to make it happen: shaping International Development Cooperation for the effective implementation of the Post-2015 development framework

The governments of Mexico and The Netherlands, in their capacity as Co-Chairs of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, have the honor of inviting you to participate in a panel discussion entitled “How to make it happen: shaping International Development Cooperation for the effective implementation of the Post-2015 development framework”, which will take place on September 26th, between 09:15 and 10:45 a.m. at UN Headquarters in New York, conference room 6.

September 26th, 09:15 – 10:45 a.m., Conference Room 6, UN. 

This year’s General Assembly will mark the beginning of the global negotiations that should conclude with the adoption of a new sustainable development framework. In this context, the panel discussion provides us with the opportunity to identify the key challenges facing international development cooperation in the Post-2015 era, drawing from the lessons learned of the MDG process, and focusing on multi-stakeholder implementation of common objectives at country level.

We will also discuss the practical contributions of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation to the implementation of the Post-2015 development agenda.

Moderated by Henry Bonsu, International Broadcaster. Participants will include:

  • José Antonio Meade (Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs)
  • Lilianne Ploumen (Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation)
  • María Eugenia (Gina) Casar, Associate Administrator, UNDP
  • Ted Chu, Chief Economist, International Finance Corporation
  • Hugette Labelle, Chair of the Board of Transparency International
  • Reeta Roy, CEO of MasterCard Foundation (tbc) 

If you would like to register for this event please write to and by Friday 19 September 12:00 a.m. EDT to secure access to the venue. Please note that space is limited. Upon registration participants will receive a logistics note. Please find attached a concept note with more details.

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to your participation in the event.

UNGA-GPEDC Side Event Concept Note final 17-9

First Meeting of the Leading Group on Social and Solidarity Economy

UN-NGLS is pleased to invite you to the first meeting of the Leading Group on Social and Solidarity Economy. This meeting is co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations and the Mont-Blanc Meetings – International Forum of the Social and Solidarity Economy Entrepreneurs.

Monday, 22 September 2014
Conference Room 8, North Lawn Building
UN Headquarters, New York

The Leading Group on Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) was created in 2013 with the aim to promote the SSE worldwide, making this form of collective entrepreneurship and cooperative economic relations accessible to all people, and increasing the recognition of this economic model in innovative development policy debates and practices.

The Leading Group on SSE is currently composed of 5 Member States (Colombia, Ecuador, France, Luxembourg, Morocco, and Québec as non-member observer), the 20 UN agencies in the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on SSE (including UN-NGLS), as well as international civil society networks working on SSE.

The event will focus on:

  • Implementation of public policies for the social and solidarity economy;
  • Promotion of and support to SSE enterprises and organizations worldwide.

Please find the event flyer here, which includes the provisional programme.

If you do not have a UN Grounds Pass and would like to request an entry pass for this event, please complete this RSVP form by 12:00pm New York time on Thursday, 18 September.



MPs commit to act on gender and eliminate inequality

Over 40 Asia-Pacific parliamentarians meeting in Manila, Philippines have committed to eliminate inequality and protect the rights of women through a strong assertion of human rights in every aspect of development.

A shared commitment of parliamentarians, Ministers and Speakers from 21 countries in the Asia-Pacific region to act on gender issues was the outcome of the 10th Women Ministers and Parliamentarians Conference on Progressing SRHR and gender equality into Beijing+20, hosted by the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) assisted by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Japan Trust Fund.

“Despite the significant progress achieved in women and girls’ empowerment, there are still challenges and numerous critical issues that are yet to be fully addressed in Asia and the Pacific,” said Australian MP and conference chair Hon Dr Sharman Stone.

“For the past decade, we have been talking about gender issues that include sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for women, violence against women, child marriage, and women’s participation in national and international decision-making. Now it’s time for action and measureable results,” said Dr Stone.

The parliamentarians agreed that a strong regional statement would amplify their position and commitment to put gender as a top priority in national and international development, beginning at November’s regional UN meeting on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

In the Statement of Commitment, the parliamentarians commit to eliminating inequality through implementation of national laws that adhere to international legal and human rights frameworks.

“While parliamentarians have played a leading role in advocacy to achieve significant rights-based outcomes in International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) regional fora, we note the need to further assert sexual and reproductive health and rights as basic human rights without discrimination throughout Asia and the Pacific,” said Dr Stone.

“We will also advocate for increased voice and participation of women in governance through effective and equitable quota allocations for parliamentary and local government seats for women.”

Parliamentarians also committed to action on address the rights and inequities of migrants, refugees, people with disabilities, child brides, adolescents, women and girls living with HIV/AIDS and other marginalised communities.

For media inquiries, contact John Hyde on +66 898723362 or at

UN reports on preparations for the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family

The World Family Summit +10 will be a celebration event for the 20th International Year of the Family. Over the years, the international community has recognized the importance of family-centered policies and programs as part of an integrated rather than sectoral approach to development. The international community has agreed that the family is the fundamental unit of society, entitled to protection by society and the State, and acknowledged that notwithstanding different family forms and structures, families are fundamental to social development.

Focusing on families offers a comprehensive approach to solving some of the persistent development challenges, such as the intergenerational transfer of poverty and inequality. For instance, the economic status and stability of families and the quality parenting are vital for children’s well-being and the quality of family life is itself an important contributor to a future society which responsible, just and equal.

The full report from the UN showcases the efforts of Governments and civil society actors in support of families worldwide. Some national policies and programs focus on women with children, rather than family units as such. Such an approach may be justified as a result of prevailing discrimination against women and the urgent need to combat this historic injustice. The focus on children is equally understandable and relates to the desire to break the cycle of poverty and ensure at least a minimum standard of living for children. Focusing on women and children however, may not be sufficient not only for poverty reduction but for advancing gender equality and children’s rights as well. As recently noted by the Head of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), the campaign for gender equality has been dominated by women and it needs to be broadened to include boys and men. Similarly, taking into account family dynamics in policy development and service provision is bound to result in improved outcomes for all family members.

The preparations for the observance of the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2014 have mainly resulted in regional reviews of family policy development. The research undertaken focused on the issues of concern to the international community and families themselves: family poverty, work-family balance and intergenerational solidarity. Both the regional reviews carried out at expert meetings and research undertaken so far point to the fact that family-oriented policies contribute to poverty reduction, better outcomes for children, greater gender equality, improved work-family balance and strengthened intergenerational bonds. There is ample evidence that policies in those areas are effective and need to be advanced further.

The two policy areas bound to grow in importance in the coming years are work-family balance and intergenerational concerns. Recent trends, such as rapidly falling fertility rates in developed countries, family instability, growing divorce rates as well as mounting difficulties in family formation encountered by young people require urgent action, especially in the area of work-family balance and sustainable livelihoods. Similarly, changing family structures, urbanization and mobility, as well as the rapid increase in the proportion of older persons among the population and the challenges of ensuring human rights and dignity for older persons require a serious look at policies supporting healthy and reciprocal intergenerational interactions so that generations are not perceived as competing against one another.

As noted in previous reports on family issues, the Millennium Development Goals, especially those relating to poverty, education and the reduction of maternal mortality are difficult to achieve unless the strategies to achieve them focus on the family. Women, children and youth are among the major priorities for the United Nations and will remain a top priority in the post-2015 development strategy. Adding families to this agenda would be a step forward in the direction of empowerment and reduction of inequality and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals.

To read the full report from the UN, visit: